Thursday, February 12, 2009

another day another poet

my wife emails and tells me that i always
seem to get published in the same journals
with this other poet named jason hines
and she jokes with me that maybe mr. hines
and i should go out and get a beer together some time.
i write her back and tell her that i don’t make
friends with poets but i’m curious who this guy
is so i scan the net looking for him.
sure enough he and i are in a lot of mags together
and he’s in some that keep sending me back
very kind and thoughtful rejection slips
and others that don’t even care to respond at all.
there is a picture of him on one web site,
cropped black hair, giving the finger to no one, and below it are
a number reviews of his book, his bio,
his influences, and, of course, his poems.
i start reading them and they are good enough
no better or no worse than anyone who spends a lot
of time in front of the machine or behind a pad and pen
or in a bar thinking the whole thing is shot, the world is mad,
and all you can do to try and hang on is strive for a little immortality,
preserve a little piece of yourself that’ll linger once you’re cold and gone.
after a while i quit really reading hines’ work,
and i simply scan the poems for a line or two that might
stand out.
none do
and i’m not surprised.
it really isn’t mr. hines’ fault, or the fault of his poetry
it’s just that us humans aren’t very smart or original in anything we do
art or love or hate or defecating or making conversation in a loud room.
we’re mostly just simple and dumb
but i guess i’ll keep checking mr. hines’ stuff out
humans are repetitive after all.
plus we seem linked in a sense, like two birds entangled
over a worm
and heading down toward an ugly, quick death.
we are both “poets” as it is.
however, in the meantime i think i’ll check my email again
to see if my wife wrote me back some joke about me being anti-social
or some anecdote about her job, about how she needs a stiff scotch,
or where she might want to go out and get some dinner
this coming saturday night after we pull
six straight days at work again this month.

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